Pride isn’t just something to be celebrated in June, but all year long. That’s especially true in Louisiana, where the Green Waves celebrated their 3rd annual Pride Night with families and friends of Tulane and the greater New Orleans area on November 14th.
From a sensational national anthem to on-court drag performances, the game night was a victory for LGBTQ and sports fans alike.
Doshia Woods, who celebrates her 10th season coaching the women’s program, says Tulane’s Pride night is one predicated in allyship and education. She credits the Tulane student organization for amalgamating the inclusive campus culture with athletics.
“Throughout the game there are a lot of facts that go up, from rates of LGBTQ suicide to student resources on campus and across New Orleans,” Woods told Outsports. “It’s a game to educate others, allies and those around them.”
Woods is assistant coach to two-time C-USA Coach of the Year Lisa Stockton, who began coaching at Tulane in 1995 and has since led the team to 18 postseason tournament appearances. Stockton is one of four active coaches to take a Top 60 academic institution accredited by U.S. and World Report to over 11 NCAA Tournaments, joining Tara Vanderveer of Stanford, Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame and Sylvia Hatchell of North Carolina.
“Sports is a way to bring people together-- that they can come as themselves and know that, for at least that night, there is something for them,” Woods told Outsports. “I think our administration has done a tremendous job of allowing our program to promote diversity and inclusion, and our office of gender and sexual diversity has been phenomenal in promoting our pride game to students and staff.”
Earlier this year, Tulane President Mike Fitts announced the creation of The Carolyn Barber-Pierre Center for Intercultural Life, which will include The Office of Multicultural Affairs, Religious Life at Tulane, and The Office of Gender and Sexual Diversity. Tulane, an NCAA Division I program in the American Athletic Conference, is one of only four campuses in the South to have a five-star score on the Campus Pride Index.
“I think the visibility is so important,” says Woods. “It makes you feel connected in a different way when you feel visible and you feel seen. I think that’s what a lot of people want, regardless of how they identify. They want to be seen. And I think by us having a pride night at Tulane, everybody has that chance in a space that’s comfortable.”
The Green Waves (4-5) will host South Alabama on Saturday, Dec. 7 at Avron B. Fogelman Arena in Devlin Fieldhouse.
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